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Miles and miles of Texas traveling taxes?

As regular readers know, I've blogged ad nauseum regularly on the fiscal troubles of many of our 50 states. One of the common themes in these struggling state posts is the creative ways tax officials and lawmakers are coming up with to pay the bills. OK, California's IOUs were more sad than ingenious, but you know what I mean.

Now it looks like my native state, which had a couple of European banners among the six flags that variously flew over us, is taking a cue from another transatlantic country.

I wrote a couple of months ago about The Netherlands' impending per-kilometer tax. Well, the Texas Transportation Commission has just ordered a study of taxing the number of miles each Lone Star motorist drives in a year

"We need to think differently about how we fund transportation," Texas Transportation Commission Chairwoman Deirdre Delisi said at a Texas Taxpayers and Research Association forum in November. She said the road tax research findings will be presented to legislators as a possible alternative to the state's motor fuels tax when they confront the diminishing highway fund account.

No way that will move: Controversial is not the word I'd use Ms. Delisi. I'm thinking something along the lines of one taco short of a combination plate. Make that two tacos and some guacamole short.

I can guarantee you that regardless of what problems the Lone Star State is having with declining revenue from its main source of paying for transportation projects, a driving tax is just not the route my fellow Texans will accept.

Parts Of Texas Raise Speed Limit To 80, Nations Highest
We're a big state, with lots of roads. We Texans like our vehicles and we don't think twice about driving them for eight or 10 or more hours to get from from part of our expansive state to another. Most of the roads are flat, in pretty good shape and we can put the pedal to the metal.

In fact, how much time we're behind the wheel and how far we have to drive across this great landscape generally is a point of pride. Just ask Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel about all that driving. The band has memorialized our roadways with the great "Miles and Miles of Texas."

So Ms. Delisi, you and your Transportation Commission colleagues can study all you want. The rest of us Texans will wave as we motor past y'all.

Roadologist ruminations: The driving tax idea was forwarded to me by John Latta, one of my good friends and a former editor who is now tracking our national asphalt infrastructure as editor-in-chief at Better Roads magazine.

John also blogs for the publication as the Roadologist and he gave me and Don't Mess With Taxes a shout out in his item on drivings taxes.

Local readers also will no doubt note his little gigging of the Longhorns: Texas considers messing with taxes (as ‘Bama prepares to mess with Texas).

While I definitely appreciate the 'Bama-based John's kind words about and plug of the ol' blog, I did get a bit upset that he came up with that great headline before I did! Yes, in addition to sharing a love of football and motorsports (yep, he's the guy who let me become the Crazy Woman Driver), as writers we also can't resist a catchy turn of phrase.

Now about that football. John also mentions a bowl bet we had many years ago on an Alabama-Texas Tech game. Yes, his team won ugly and he got a great Joe Ely CD from me. This time, John, I'm not taking the bait!

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Pam Baggett

Just tie the gasoline taxes to cost of living sdjustments. Besides, how much money will it cost to collect the mileage tax?

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